GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An eight-year-old boy who was stripped naked and chained to the stairway of his flat in Paya Terubong has been put under the state Welfare Department's custody.
The department also sent the boy for a medical check-up to determine if he has been abused.
George Town OCPD Assistant Commissioner Mior Faridalathrash Wahid confirmed that the boy was now under temporary custody of the department after his 45-year-old father was arrested at about 4pm on Monday (May 16) when he turned up at the Air Itam police station to give a statement.
It was reported that the boy was stripped naked and chained to the stairway for about five hours by his father for being naughty.
He was left at the stairway for so long that he had to relieve himself there.
Audio shop worker Michael Jin, 32, who was staying a floor above the boy's home, said he heard him crying when he came home at about 2.30am on Friday.
"I went out to check and saw a naked boy resting his head on the concrete partition. I asked him why he was there and he told me that his father had chained him there.
"I took some photographs as evidence. That was when my neighbour came out to inform me that the boy had been chained there since 10pm," he said at his home.
Jin said he then confronted the father and demanded that the boy be freed at once.
"He did as instructed and took him home," Jin said.
"I stood outside his home for a while to ensure the boy was not beaten up.
"As a single father, I know it's normal for boys to be a bit naughty but I feel that the father should not punish his son in such a harsh manner," he said, adding he had uploaded the pictures on social media out of sympathy for the boy.
Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said the father would leave the boy at home alone when he was out at work.
"He would wander around the flat. If he is found by his father outside, he would be punished," said the neighbour.
Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin said he would be monitoring the progress of the child.
"There are no apparent injuries on his body but he will still be sent to the Penang Hospital for a check-up.
"I've spoken to the boy's relative. She hoped that the public would leave the family alone so that the authorities could investigate the case and also to protect the interest of the child."